Update on the East Capers Build

BY: GEORGE JOBB

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Well, Dan and Meg have continued working on their East Cape lot site for 10 months now and are now on their fourth contractor. The trailer slab has been poured, the roof and walls have been built and are ready for the final finishing. This work was done by the first contractor. Then things became a little difficult; such as the stairs to the roof-top deck. The original metal stairs were not what was designed or ordered. The dimensions were out by quite a bit. They would not even reach the roof and appeared to be used, possibly taken off another building? Either way, they were not what was agreed upon. Some people following the project’s progress and even wondered if a building nearby might be missing a set of stairs. Well, those stairs were taken away.

That’s when the contractor stopped taking calls, also the workers were no longer showing up for work. Hum … well, other contractors were contacted, and estimates were given for the ever-expanding project. Who wouldn’t want a pool out on the East Cape? A hole was dug, metal rebar, footing and forms were installed. This new contractor was not too familiar with building a pool but had always wanted to. He was okay with the structure but was not familiar with a pool associated pumps, filters, skimmers or plumbing. It was at this point number two contractor stopped showing up. More estimates were obtained from other contractors who this time, had experience and specialized in pool building, not just the ones who always wanted to. The new quotes seemed high to very high, even to Dan and Meg’s contacts living in Chicago.

About the same cost that you would pay for a three-bedroom home and lot out by Soriano’s. How could this be, it was asked, it’s only an average size outdoor pool. Meg and Dan were given advice by new friends and neighbors that it wasn’t unusual to go through three or four contractors when building a house out in the East Cape. Things “take a little longer and not to worry, they usually work out.”

Four months later, still no pool and it’s starting to warm up on the East Cape. June was an unusually hot one. The solar panels could not charge the batteries fast enough and the inverter was not big enough to handle the A/C motor when it kicked on. A few inverters later and the A/C was working. It was just the math (as in arithmetic) that was off. The cost of adding solar panels and fuel for the Gennset weren’t adding up. Between driving into town and the cost of cooling when off the grid it was cheaper to rent a condo in town for three months a year. Which is what they did. The best of both worlds. Their East Cape home is now a weekend retreat. Oh ya! Finally, some luck on the pool. A company that builds fiberglass pool moulds with plumbing already installed was contacted. All you need is a hole in the ground and a small ledge around the edge. The fourth contractor was able to lift their chosen pool mould in the ground and help with the pump and filter hook up. In a week or two the artificial turf would be laid down around it, and ready to party on with a few margaritas. Now it will be paradise on the East Cape. I expect to be back down in October to take some finished pool photos. As a side bar to the East Cape pool, at the time I was writing this piece, our own newly renovated pool was getting some final touches. Someone has missed replacing three, one-inch blue square tiles prior to the pool being refilled. So, these missing tiles needed to be installed under water. Well, the pool is five feet deep and the guy wading into it fully clothed was five foot two maybe. I thought that on his tip toes he should be okay. On his first attempt to replace the bottom tile he almost drowned. My wife is a nurse, so I asked if her CPR was up to date. It was. He managed to get back on his tip toes and out of the pool okay. He is a brave young man but should probably mention to his boss that he cannot swim, so he is best suited for any above water pool maintenance jobs.  His partner did initially chuckle at the situation but quickly realized he needed to step in to help.  Unfortunately, he simply dived into the water fully clothed. Obviously, a local, he could swim and hold his breath. Forty-five minutes later all three tiles were stuck to the bottom, along with excessive glue. A story of two pools, interesting how things turn out here on the Baja.